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My step son use to like me but his Dad ruined it.

CJMCNIEL's picture

I am 39.  I am a stepmom of a 10 year old boy.  I and usually a Vet Tech but I moved to a small town to be with my new family so there are not really any opportunities here for that at least not that pay more than minimum wage. So I work at a Collision Shop.  I like to do art and projects around the house and I get really excited when I refinish a dresser for less than 150.00 bucks that would cost me 500.00 to 1000.00 at the store.  Unfortunately that is becoming my whole life because I have no escape from the stress and heck I am dealing with with the new family dynamic. So I keep finding projects to do that take me outside to the porch so I don't feel so useless but now I just feel alone.  So, at first it was rocky but not too bad.  When I moved here I slept in the guest room until (my boyfriend) got his kiddo out of his bed.  I just did not feel that it was appropriate for me to be sleeping in the bed with both of them.  I was trying to integrate myself without too many changes up front.  We lived out in the middle of no where and his Dad worked weird long hours so me and the kiddo had a lot of time together.  He was fun and respectful and we got along great.  He makes straight A's and he is wonderful at school and everywhere else he is.  Now his Dad is home more because his schedule got better.  You would think that would be great but it is not.  Kiddo is horrible and spoiled around his dad and whines and acts a fool.  Let me also say that this kid has been constipated for years and has an issue with eating healthy.  He has been taking miralax for years ( which is not good) to help with this but it is because he will only eat junk food and bread and cheese.  ( I had him eating well and drinking water for a few weeks and he was fine but that got 86'd when Dad was home for a few days.)  I signed up to be his soccer coach and it was a blast.  He made more friends and after some other family drama on the family property we decided to move into town right by the school.  He loved it and he is able to spend so much more time with his friends and have sleep overs and sleep over at their house.  I have become great friends with one if his 2 best friends moms( the twins which were on our soccer team) and you would think it is all looking up.  But it getting bad.  I showed and explained to his dad what could happen to the kiddo if he continues to be constipated all the time and the permanent damage it can and most likely will cause.  I am a healthy eater but it would not be as big of a deal if was not have health issues because of this or he starts to feel like crud every time we try to go to a festival or do a family outing because he just added greasy food on top of not going for 3 days so we end up leaving. So his dad tries to implement better eating but he will only enforce it when I am home which the kiddo notices.  The kiddo sat at the table for 2 hours screaming and crying because he was suppose to finish his dinner.  It was a dinner that he likes but was just not in the mood for.  Dad put a timer on it and then started taking away privileges one at time.  He was out of xbox and phone and tv. This went on for 3 hours and then he waited until I went outside and negotiated to get to watch a movie if he finally finished his 2 bites that were left.  I said isn't that tv and his dad said but its not in his room so it fine as long as he eats those last bites.  Then I caught the kiddo trying to throw it away and his dad just said you sneaky little poo and then after he got caught he pretended to take a bite in front of his dad and then went and actually threw it away.  I told his dad this but he said no I saw him take a bite and I just couldn't anymore.  He believed the kiddo even though the food was in the trash and he got to watch 2 movies.  I stayed out of this whole thing as much as possible because I am already on egg shells.  I keep reading info that says to let the other parent discipline but the other parent doesn't.   He rarely sees his biological mother and she lives 5 hours away so there is not issue there on the discipline.  His Dad lashes out at me in front of the kiddo now so what little respect I had is all gone now.  He has also told his dad to his face that he doesn't respect him.  Not in a mean way but when we were having a family meeting about behavior and rules.  The kid was just being honest. I came home last night and he was watching the movie Blockers with his 10 year old.  I am tired of being the bad guy so I called him to the kitchen and said hey babe you know that movie is not appropriate for a 10 year old.  I even looked it up to make sure and he said its fine.  I said ok and made my salad that he had prepared for us and I went to the room to eat it.  Dinner had been ready for a while but he waited until I got home to try to make the kid eat what he didn't want so the kid again associates it with me being home and then came in the room and yelled at me for not eating in there with him even though he had already eaten.  I calmly said I do not want to watch that movie with a 10 year old it is awkward and uncomfortable. Then he yelled and said well I turned it off.  So again the kiddo sees me as a mean party pooper.    The kiddo which use to hug me and tell me he loves me will only talk to me if I ask him a question. I am afraid to ask him if he took his medicine or if he brushed his teeth at this point because he takes anything I say a another way for me to force him to do something.  He only addresses his dad now and the last 2 times we have tried to have a date night and he was staying the night with his friends and my good friend he called to come home just because he doesn't want me and his dad to have alone time.  So of course he went and picked him up.  So there is no point in trying to do that again because he will just call to be picked up.  I dread going home and I am going broke buying stuff to start new projects to occupy my time.  What do I do??????????


Aniki-Moderator's picture

Hon, you need to move out, move on with your life, and put this unhappy relationship in the past.

While there are red flags in what you wrote, what stands out to me is that you have NO respect for your bf. You walk on eggshells in the home. Life is too short to live like this. Love yourself more and be happy.

tog redux's picture

This is the problem with stepmothers coming in like the new sheriff in town and making rules for the kids. Yes, you are correct, he needs better parenting (though 2 hour power struggles about meals are crazy), but you can't be the person to do that. Of course you look like the bad guy.  Let his father parent him, however poorly he wants.  You do nothing to help with the parenting, or with the consequences of the bad parenting. If he's watching an inappropriate movie with his son, you go in the bedroom and read a book. Just let it go, you can't be the heavy when his father is going to undermine you, so don't bother.

Just decide if you can live with this going on in your home or not. If not, then go.

(And please use paragraphs, it's hard to read long posts without them).

CJMCNIEL's picture

I didnt do the power struggle his dad did.  I statyed mostly quiet.  I did not cook or tell him he had to eat it. 

CJMCNIEL's picture

I understand and that is where I am at.  I was just unsure how far to take it.  Dad says well he makes straight A's so it cant be that bad.  But if I am not going to be respected or be able to even ask him to brush his teeth then should I be helping with homework and school projects either?? There are still a few days a week where Dad does graveyard shifts and leaves at 5:30pm so I am responsible for homework and bed time.  Sorry about the paragraphes I suck at writting. 

Siemprematahari's picture

You have a BF that doesn't respect you and allows his son to do so as well. His lack of parenting has you parenting this son and when you do it, chaos ensues. You have two choices: You either disengage and have absolutely nothing to say or do with this kid or you simply leave this toxic relationship and find someone who respects and values you as a person. There are so many red flags here like him sharing a bed with his 10 year old son, not taking him to a doctor to treat the consitipation problem, the not setting boundaries and when he tries he gives in. This is the perfect recipe for disaster and you unfortunately are in the middle of it.

So dig deep and decide which one of those options can you live with.

CLove's picture

So, just to make sure I am reading this right:

1. You moved to be with someone, leaving everything you loved behind, career-wise. 
- thats always so hard. Starting new in a new town. But now you are feeling very isolated. Thats what abusers do - they isolate you from everything.

2. The father does not, in fact downright REFUSES to parent this child, who was previously responding wonderfully to you parenting him.
- disengage. Read more on here about that, it comes in many different flavors, according to the different situations. This means that you realize that this child has parents (active or inactive doesnt matter) and YOU are not one of them. Let your SO parent this child. If this results in a lower quality of life and you find this unaceptable, then leave. You do not have children with this person, this "disney dad" (this is a term used for dads that are always all about the fun and never want to be the bad guy parent who makes rules and enforces them)

3. When you try to parent this child, your SO circumvents all efforts, every time.
- again, disengagement is your only recourse. Youve experienced the battles, now you know that it is an excercise in futility and frustration to even try. see #2. Disengagement. You absolutely CANNOT care more than the parent does. Meaning that you cannot enforce healthy eating if the parent doesnt care about the childs health.

4. Your partner disrespects you in front of the child, and you are concerned that the child sees this and loses respect for both you and partner
- Your partner has no respect for you, and that sounds abusive to me. Consider separation. Move out. See if things change.

5. You are miserable and dread going home.
- your home should be your sanctuary! Imagine if you actually looked forward to going home to a wonderful, peaceful, beautiful space that was yours. How free you would feel. Is it possible to move back to where you were happy? You need to really consider if this is the future as well as present that you want for yourself. Read more posts here on Steptalk. There are many many of us here that have wanted to leave but got pregnant and felt stuck. Some whove stayed for 10,15,20,25 years OR MORE and been miserable. Because it didnt get better with time it got a lot worse.

Keep posting! Welcome, and sorry you are going through all this. It really sucks.

CJMCNIEL's picture

I was hoping for a magical solution.  Haha.  

CLove's picture

Perhaps I can sprinkle some sparkly spackle dust on you...

CJMCNIEL's picture

I needed a laugh 

CJMCNIEL's picture

It was only for a few weeks.  We just wanted him to get use to me being there before we made a big change.  But I get it. 

CLove's picture

He used to co-sleep with the youngest, but the first night I spent the night, she went back to her own bed. Red flag number #1. out of, like maybe #500?

Harry's picture

And say, you can’t make rules.  If a SP is taking of SK it’s SP rules.  If BP does not like it, then take care of yor own kid.  Get a job so you are home, or get sometyoe of Care.  But I bet the care people have there own rules also 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

This man has been (half-a$$ed) parenting solo for years. Who watched his child before you moved in?

And given what I've learned about public schools that are driven by numbers, As don't impress me like they used to.

This situation is not a good one for you. You are not respected, and have been given the role of bed warmer and babysitter. Get out, get your career back on track, and take care of you.